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Page updated 31.3.2014

The next ten years of health technology

In Turku, health technology has been developed already for a long time. Monitori, an event that lies in the interface between health, well-being and technology, celebrates its 10-year journey, reminding us of the long history of health technology.

During these ten years, a lot has changed. Still, there is one thing that has stayed constant: a citizen.

After the opening words by Member of Parliament Lauri Heikkilä, Riku Jylhänkangas from the Public Sector ICT Department’s Strategic Governance Unit at the Finnish Ministry of Finance took the podium and told the audience about national service-oriented architecture and how it is built.

“Service-oriented architecture refers to a national service network whose aim is to create standardised ways, for instance, for transmitting health information between organisations,” mentions Jylhänkangas. 

Citizen orientation in health care service systems

Professor Pirkko Nykänen from the University of Tampere pointed out how technology is being integrated into health care practices here in Finland. Almost all data related to patients are in electronic form, most of the prescriptions are in e-form, medical imaging is carried out electronically, etc.

Nykänen led the audience to contemplate what ‘citizen orientation’ actually means as part of the future development of health care service systems. Ubiquitous health care would mean that, in future, citizens will be involved in taking care of their own health and in developing health monitoring even more concretely than they are now.

“Already at the moment, many people are collecting data concerning their physical condition, for instance, by checking their pulse with a heart rate monitor. In the future, hopefully all this health information collected by individuals themselves and all the information located in health care systems will form a coherent whole, a kind of new information world,” states Nykänen.

“A health care professional might become a kind of ‘coach’ who guides people with the help of this jointly created information world,” continues Nykänen.

At the Monitori 2014 seminar, in addition to the already mentioned, the audience heard speeches from Managing Director Jyrki Niinistö (Evondos Oy), Information Officer Sanni Häkkinen (Turku Region Arthritis Association, TSNY), Principal Lecturer Mika Luimula (TUAS), and Kari Haavisto (Department for Social and Health at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health).

A lot expected of the development of health technology

There are several expectations regarding health technology. At the same time, the product development of health technology requires perseverange. Patience is expected from both developers and financiers.

“Monitori is a place for dialogue by diverse actors. In addition to speeches by academic communities, also speeches from technology companies, health care service providers, and different associations are always heard. This was the case also this year,” says TUAS Lecturer Reetta Raitoharju.

During the past few years, the Monitori 2014 seminar has been organised in cooperation with Turku School of Economics (University of Turku); TUAS Faculty of Business, ICT and Life Sciences; and Turku Science Park Ltd.